Championship One Preview: Gateshead v Oxford (Sun)

Gateshead Thunder coach Kevin Neighbour wants his men to replicate last week’s first half over a full 80 minutes.

Gateshead drew 12-12 with London Skolars during the first 40 minutes of the New River Stadium clash, but eventually lost 52-24.

Neighbour said: “We were the most powerful side in the first half.”

Oxford are only two places above Gateshead in the Kingstone Press Championship One table, but they are 12 points clear of their hosts.

Tony Benson’s men are set to travel without Lucas Onyango, who looks to have suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Dave Ellison (suspected broken jaw) is also missing, while Andrew Bentley (knee) and Valu Bentley (ankle) face late fitness checks after a bruising clash with Oldham.

Benson said: “Gateshead are not the Gateshead of old. They’re much stronger than they have been and we know exactly the challenge we’ll face on Sunday.”

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